May 6, 2013 by rkpcs
Today was the last full day for the team in Yeosu city before we move on to a more rural area of Jeollanum-Do tomorrow.
The first stop of the day was to the very impressive GS Caltex Yeosu refinery complex – the world’s fourth largest crude oil refinery which created a revenue of over £48 billion last year. First established in 1967 the site now employs 1700 people and produces 5.3 billion litres of petrol and 12.9 billion litres of diesel every year – exporting 66.6% of it’s products overseas.
The team were given a very interesting guided tour of the complex and learnt that the company is currently promoting the slogan of creating a beautiful world through energy sharing – they are very much promoting the idea of educating people to make the world more sustainable.
In addition to this the company has, within the last year, finished the construction of a beautiful outside theatre space for the local community to use. They see this as a way of giving back to the community now that the company is doing so well.
GS Caltex is also proud to point out the fantastic benefits they pass on to their employees including company housing, education scholarships, medical support as well as a good salary and job security.
After the visit to the complex it was time for another traditional Korean lunch. Readers of this blog may fear the team are getting bored of traditional Korean food – but the truth is we can’t get enough of it! The meals on offer are so varied and delicious that every meal really is a completely different experience. It has also become very apparent that the Koreans really enjoy this aspect of the day – it is a chance for them to talk to the team and ask us questions and for us to ask questions of them; for them to show us and explain to us traditional aspects of their culture and, to be honest, just have a really good time! Today was no exception and the delicious food including pumpkin soup, octopus, a variety of fish, duck, pork, kimchi, various vegetables and rice soup only enhanced the event.
After lunch the team were taken to a traditional Korean hospital where every team member was offered (and accepted) an acupuncture treatment. It’s fair to say that certain team members had their reservations about this treatment but I am pleased to say that everyone completed it and agreed that it was actually a far more pleasant experience than we were anticipating.
The Korean hospital visit was followed by a quick look at the theatre constructed by GS Caltex (called GS Caltex Yeulmaru). This deeply impressive and beautiful structure, which opened last year, is designed to become a hub of cultural events to be held in Yeosu and is also complimented by several modern art structures surrounding the site. Immediately following this the team made a quick visit to Yeocheon Roatry Club to meet some of the members and learn about some of the recent overseas projects they had been involved in – including helping to rebuild a school in the Philippines after the area had been devastated by a tornado. The passion and enthusiasm of the club’s member’s was clear to see and served as a testament to Rotary’s core commitment – “service above self”.
This was followed by a visit to a taekwondo gym where Ed (dressed in a Taekwondo master’s robes) was honoured to be given some one to one personal tuition by the master instructor. Whilst this was going on the rest of the team and several other rotarians watched on in delight – and fits of laughter!
Then it was time for……another tradtional Korean meal! Several rotarians from the local clubs came along and were keen to make this an evening to remember. Across the table various moments from the last few days were discussed, including jokes, funny incidents, families, the differences between the UK and South Korea, the similarities between the UK and South Korea and various Rotary topics. But above all this there was one point in particular everyone agreed on – over the last few days we had all deeply enjoyed each others company and had made new friends.